Mariel Ortega is a senior associate with the Health and Human Rights Initiative at the O’Neill Institute. Her areas of focus have been gender, sexual and reproductive rights, equality, and non-discrimination, LGBTI+, migration, and children’s rights.

Prior to joining the O’Neill Institute, Ortega worked as Human Rights Specialist at the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights in the Section of Promotion, Technical Training, Cooperation, and Public Policies and the Rapporteurship of LGBTI Persons. Additionally, she worked as Legal Adviser at Center for Reproductive Rights, where she participated in the litigation of strategic cases on gender issues before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Ortega has also done consultancy work for diverse institutions, including the Project Being LGBTI in the Caribbean of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and has lectured classes and capacity building workshops in diverse countries of the Americas.

Ortega obtained her law degree at Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She also holds an LL.M in Human Rights Law and Gender from American University, Washington College of Law.


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